Traveling light should be the rule and it is so easy in southeast Asia. In Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam laundry services are everywhere. The cost is $1 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) generally. Even after 2 to 3 days, we rarely had more than a few kilos to wash. The hotels, on the other hand, charge per piece and just one piece can cost $1. That adds up fast.
So just walk out on the street and look for “Laundry” signs, which you’ll find at numerous local restaurants or mini-marts, particularly in areas with lots of guesthouses. Take in your laundry in by 8am and you can have it back, clean and neatly folded, by 6pm. So, even if your stay in a city is only two nights the laundry can be done.
Sadly, Myanmar is not equipped for this as yet. The backpackers have not arrived so there really are not any services that differ from hotel pricing.
But there are many compact cleaning options for the sink and tub. We’ve used both the small Tide packets, as well as Sea and Summit (Trek & Travel) soap flakes or concentrated laundry soap available from REI. A quick soak, rinse and wring out works really well. Hang out to dry if you have a deck. Or, if you are in a hurry, you can easily create a “drying room”. Turn on a hairdryer in your bathroom or wardrobe, shut the door and let the dryer run all night. By morning, all is dry.
And do bring lightweight, wash and wear clothes made of fabrics that dry quickly and need no pressing. Avoid cotton!